New Report Questions Quality of Student Teaching

The new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), “Student Teaching across the Nation,” says that the majority of student teaching programs are not adequately preparing educators for the classroom. Focusing on undergraduate programs for elementary teachers, the report found that it’s the inadequate placement process that contributes most to the problem.

“…It’s shocking that only 10 of the 134 programs we evaluated (7 percent) take the two most important steps to establish the foundation for a strong student teaching placement: ensuring that the cooperating teachers in whose classrooms student teachers are placed are fully qualified (experienced, effective instructors who are capable of mentoring an adult) by explicitly advertising those qualifications, and by actively participating in the selection process,” said Kate Walsh, President of NCTQ.

Key Recommendations

  1. Teacher preparation programs need to shrink the pipeline of elementary teachers into the profession.
  2. Teacher preparation programs need to focus the student teaching placement process on the selection of exemplary cooperating teachers.
  3. Districts need to place limits on the number of student teachers districts can reasonably prepare each year.
  4. Districts and teacher preparation programs need to make the role of cooperating teacher a more attractive proposition to classroom teachers.

NCTQ developed 19 standards to evaluate the practices at 134 universities and colleges. However, only 32 of the programs were measured against all 19 standards; the others were evaluated on five critical standards. The organization has come under question for this methodology.

More information

“Student Teaching across the Nation”

“Student Teaching in the United States”

“Reviewing (Trashing?) Student Teaching”
Inside Higher Ed

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July 2011


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